(我慢) is a Japanese term of Zen Buddhist origin which means "enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity". The term is generally translated as "perseverance," "patience," tolerance, or "self-denial." At one point in Japanese culture, this had been foundational to every aspect of life --business, personal relationships, etc. (I don't know if that still applies today).
"You must have gaman." Ugh, I grew up hearing my mom say this to me, almost daily, no joke. It was kind of annoying for an American kid to hear, as we are taught to have an impatient, individualistic, "me first" attitude here in the West (it seems at times "I'll take you to court!" is almost as frequent as "hello" here, lol).
But now that I'm older, I appreciate the wisdom of gaman
. It serves me more than not (...or am I serving it?). Takei-san provides a heartfelt, concise summary of the concept here: